With a crush of must-pass bills coming at the end of the year, it’s a lobbyist feeding frenzy on Capitol Hill. The prize: a rider tacked onto one of those bills that’s worth big bucks.
And the biggest winner so far is not the industry you’d normally think of as the most powerful in Washington — not banking, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, or telecommunications. Arguably the most successful group when it comes to building bipartisan coalitions to protect their profits and avoid federal scrutiny is auto dealers.
Last Wednesday, 88 Democrats joined 244 Republicans in the House to advance a bill that amounts to a stand-down order to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. If it becomes law, CFPB will no longer be able to crack down on racial discrimination in auto lending that costs individual African-American and Hispanic consumers hundreds of dollars, while earning dealers hundreds of millions in ill-gotten profits.